1989 October 28

Flag Protection Act Become Law; Protests Occur in Seattle


Congress passed the Flag Protection Act on this day as a response to the Supreme Court decision declaring unconstitutional a Texas flag-desecration law in Texas v. Johnson, on June 21, 1989. The law was a revision of the Flag Protection Act, passed on July 5, 1968, in response to flag burning by anti-Vietnam War protesters. The Supreme Court declared the new federal law unconstitutional, in United States. v. Eichman, on June 11, 1990.

The federal law: “Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”

Read: Robert Justin Goldstein, Flag Burning and Free Speech: The Case of Texas v. Johnson (2000)

And learn more about the flag burning cases: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/flagburning.htm

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